The WA Department of Mines and Petroleum says horseplay at a mining operation was to blame for a serious injury involving an excavator.
In a newly released significant incident report, the DMP said a dogger sustained serious leg injuries, including a crushed artery, after an excavator load swung into his leg on May 11.
According to the DMP, a dogger and an excavator operator were test lifting a polypipe spool (tee piece) and valve assembly. A worker not related to the activity entered the work area from behind the excavator and threw a rope through an open window of the excavator. This startled the operator.
When he asked the rope-throwing worker what he was doing, the worker pulled strongly on the rope, which caught on the excavator's control stick, causing the excavator and its load to slew to the left.
The operator tried to remove the rope from around the control stick. However, the other worker pulled on the rope again, causing the excavator and its load to slew left a second time.
The load swung into the dogger's leg, injuring him.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service flew the dogger from site to Perth for medical attention. He later had an operation to repair a crushed artery.
The DMP said Under section 10(1) of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, employees must not adversely affect the safety or health of any other person through any act or omission at work.
It also stated that employers must ensure that workers understand their duty of care to themselves and others, and supervisors must not permit unauthorised deviation from site procedures, whether by act or omission.
The DMP said it could not release details of where the indicent ocurred.